Full press release below – many thanks to Channel 5 confirming to us today the great news about Big Bash Cricket being shown live (and also available in HD)… FOR FREE! Chris
To keep an eye on the games Channel Five will be showing – take a look at my main menu, and the latest ‘Sport on Freeview Up to…’ page… and any live cricket (and highlights on BT Showcase on Freeview Channel 59) will be noted here. Spread the word! Bookmark the site now – I hope it’s useful.
CHANNEL 5 TO BROADCAST LIVE TWENTY20 CRICKET
· Channel 5 agree a deal with BT Sport to broadcast five games from Australian Big Bash League and highlights of final
· Deal offers first chance to view live cricket on a major terrestrial channel since 2005
Available for immediate use: 19th December 2016: Channel 5 is set to bring major live cricket to free-to-air television this winter, having struck a deal with BT Sport to show five live Twenty20 matches from Australia’s Big Bash League [BBL], as well as highlights of the final. This deal will mark the first time live cricket has been on a major terrestrial channel since the 2005 Ashes Series.
Channel 5 will share live coverage of the matches with BT Sport, which has obtained the rights to show all 35 games of the Big Bash as part of a five-year deal agreed with Cricket Australia earlier this year.
The coverage will be hosted by Mark Pougatch, who will be joined in the studio by former England internationals including: Michael Vaughan, Jimmy Anderson, James Taylor, and Michael Carberry, twice a BBL winner.
As one of the world’s premier limited-overs competitions the BBL consistently attracts the best players from around the globe, and England fans will recognise a host of names this season as Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad, Ian Bell, and current England ODI captain Eoin Morgan are among those who have agreed deals with clubs.
The first game will be shown live on Channel 5 on Boxing Day morning, with the Hobart Hurricanes (with whom Broad has agreed a contract) playing host to Pietersen and the Melbourne Stars.
Mark Sharman, Channel 5:
“We’re delighted to give a terrestrial home to live cricket for the first time in over a decade. The competition complements our growing sports portfolio which includes international cricket, live boxing and top class motor sports.”
Since its origin in 2011, the BBL, running from December until the end of January, has firmly established itself as one of the highlights of the cricketing calendar and epitomises the party atmosphere and fast-paced excitement that has become synonymous with the shortest form of the game. Eight city-based franchises from across the country compete to secure domestic glory. Nearly 50,000 attended last season’s thrilling final at the MCG, where Pietersen was unable to help the Melbourne Stars home, with the Sydney Thunder eventually triumphing by three wickets.
As well as showcasing all the glitz and glamour that comes with the league itself, by showing the games on free-to-air television Channel 5 is offering wide access not just to one of the biggest competitions in cricket, but to one of the top 10 leagues in the sporting world, based on published attendance figures.